Information for Prospective Students

Advice for Students Interested in Majoring in Physics

The Department of Physics welcomes all students interested in physics. The single most important thing you should do is telephone the department office (909) 537-5397 and ask for an advising appointment. We can help you plan out the schedule that is best for you, taking into account your personal situation. If you wish to get a head start, look at Suggested Programs and other information on the Student Resources page. This will give you some idea of the main options available to you. To get more information about how to apply to the University, go to the main CSUSB enrollment page.

Advice for Pre-Engineering Majors

In addition to the four year degree in Computer Engineering, the campus also provides all the core courses a student needs to complete the first two years of coursework common to most engineering subdisciplines.

The most important courses you should take while here are your MATHEMATICS courses. Depending on your mathematics proficiency, you should already have or should take here the following courses: MATH 110, MATH 120, MATH 211, MATH 212, and MATH 213. Engineering and science courses rely heavily on mathematical knowledge, so it is crucially important that you take a mathematics course every quarter you are here. If you think you have exhausted all the mathematics you need, take more.

A close second in importance are your PHYSICS courses. You should take PHYS 221, PHYS 222, and PHYS 223. Depending on your intended specialization in engineering you may also want to take PHYS 234 or PHYS 235 (but you should be aware that these courses are only offered if there is sufficient demand). You may also want to take PHYS 224 or PHYS 225, depending again on your interests.

The following is a list of courses that will almost surely count towards an engineering degree at another university:

  • Courses for a student transferring to almost any engineering program in almost any engineering subdiscipline: MATH 110, MATH 120, MATH 211, MATH 212, MATH 213, PHYS 221, PHYS 222, and PHYS 223.
  • Courses for a student transferring to almost any engineering program in the United States: Courses above, plus ENG 101.
  • Courses for students transferring to almost any engineering program in California. Courses above, plus PSCI 203 and one of the following HIST 146, HIST 200 or HIST 201. (This will meet the state and local government requirement of the State of California. Most engineering programs outside California will have a similar requirement.)
  • The following courses will probably be required by most engineering programs but may depend on which engineering subdiscipline and which university you choose: MATH 251, MATH 252, MATH 331, PHYS 234, PHYS 235, CHEM 215, CHEM 216, CSCI 201, COMM 120, BIO 100, ECON 200, and ECON 202. Most universities have some kind of foreign language requirement. At some universities, however, it may be possible to meet this requirement with a computer language.

Beware: Some of the courses you take at CSUSB will not count towards coursework requirements at the university to which you intend to transfer. Many courses you can take here will transfer but will not count towards an Engineering degree. Do not take any capstone courses at CSUSB. Carefully choose which General Education courses you take. The best advice we can give is:

  • If you know the universities to which you intend to apply for admission, check out their engineering websites (or, even better, speak to a person in the engineering department of each university) to find out their requirements for transfer students.
  • Look at the ASSIST website to determine the transferability (properly called 'articulation') of specific courses:
  • Get advice from someone in the CSUSB physics department, especially Dr. Dixon or Dr. Usher.
  • Get application information at the CSUSB enrollment page.